Kate Price is the Artistic Director and Co-owner of the Academy of the Arts, as well as the Artistic Director of the Jackson Dance Company. Kate and her husband Nate Price purchased the Academy of the Arts in 2010 from business founders, Steve and Lori Ladwig. Kate is a graduate of Spring Arbor University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. While attending Spring Arbor University, Kate worked under the direction of Lori Ladwig as a choreographer and instructor at the Academy of the Arts. Kate loved the mission and vision the Ladwig’s created at ATOA and was honored to continue this legacy.
Kate began dancing at the age of three. Her formal dance training began at the age of nine at Richland Academy of the Arts in Mansfield, Ohio. Her training includes Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, and Modern. Kate also has experience in Hip Hop, Ballroom, Cheer and Gymnastics. Kate continues her dance and business educatioin through yearly dance and studio owner conventions; including: Dance teacher Summit, NUVO, DMI, JUMP, 24 Seven.
In 2003, Kate was presented with the opportunity to open a community-based Christian dance studio in her small hometown. Steppin’ Up Dance Studio opened its doors in the spring of that year. With the help of her mother, Elizabeth Shaffer, Kate was able to share her talents in dance and choreography with children of all ages. Steppin’ Up Dance studio started with 50 students and quickly tripled in size. Kate owned and directed Steppin’ Up dance studio 2003-2013. Kate is very thankful to stay connected with Steppin’ Up dance studio through mentoring and consulting with current owner and director.
Nate and Kate reside in the Jackson area with son, Samuel and dog, Frank. They are passionate about sharing their love of the arts with the community. In addition to directing ATOA and JDC, Kate has also taught dance and choreography for several local schools, show choirs, churches and pageants: Choreographer for the musical, Godspell – Spring Arbor University, Choreographer for the musical Beauty and the Beast – Western High School, Guest choreographer for Western High School Show choir, Dance instructor for fine arts program at Cascades Elementary school.
The Academy of the Arts proud to be the official training school of the pre-professional company, The Jackson Dance Company. Under the leadership and direction of Kate the Jackson Dance Company has grown in number, diversity in training and multiple opportunities of connecting with the community. Kate’s choreography has received many high awards and honors. Highlight award was the “Shaffer Award” at Dance Makers INC Convention. Many of Kate’s students have continued in their dance careers professionally – performing, teaching and owning studios. Kate loves being a part of each of their dance journeys. Two highlight community collaborations include: teaching dance/performing with the Lyle Torrant Center and guest performing at “Brave” – an event hosted by the Set Free team of Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church.
Nate & Kate are so thankful for wonderful staff, talented dancers and families the make up the Academy of the Arts’ family. Most of all they are thankful for the opportunity to serve Christ through the ministry of dance.